2 Best Budget Espresso Machines That Won't Break the Bank in 2024

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We've identified two excellent budget espresso machines for 2024 that offer great value. The Breville Barista Express BES870BSXL stands out with its integrated grinder, precise temperature control, and manual milk texturing. It's perfect for those seeking a complete third-wave coffee experience at home. For a more affordable option, the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine features a 15-bar pump system and automatic milk frother. It's ideal for beginners or those who prefer simplicity. Both machines provide reliable performance without breaking the bank. When choosing, consider factors like brewing pressure, milk frothing capabilities, and ease of maintenance. Let's explore these machines and selection criteria in more detail.

Key Takeaways

  • Breville Barista Express offers integrated grinder and precise temperature control for under $500.
  • Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine provides 3-in-1 functionality with automatic milk frothing for under $200.
  • Both machines balance affordability with essential features like adequate brewing pressure and milk frothing capabilities.
  • Consider factors such as ease of use, maintenance requirements, and long-term durability when choosing a budget espresso machine.
  • Look for machines with at least 9 bars of pressure and user-friendly features like removable water reservoirs for optimal performance.

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870BSXL, Black Sesame

espresso machine by breville

If you're seeking to immerse yourself in home espresso brewing without breaking the bank, the Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870BSXL stands out as a top contender for budget-conscious coffee enthusiasts in 2024. This machine offers a complete solution for third-wave specialty coffee at home, featuring an integrated grinder for precise dose control and a digital temperature control system for ideal extraction.

You'll appreciate the manual microfoam milk texturing capability, allowing you to create latte art like a pro. The Barista Express isn't just about performance; it's designed for longevity too. Regular maintenance, including cleaning the various components and changing water filters, ensures your machine continues to deliver exceptional espresso.

While some users report minor issues over time, such as the need for o-ring replacements, proper care can considerably extend the life of your machine. Overall, this Breville model offers excellent value, combining quality, performance, and durability in one sleek package.

Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine with Automatic Milk Frother

espresso and cappuccino machine

For coffee enthusiasts on a budget, the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine with Automatic Milk Frother offers 3-in-1 functionality and high-pressure brewing at an affordable price point. This semi-automatic machine features a 15-bar pump system for rich espresso and an automatic milk frother for hassle-free cappuccinos and lattes. You'll appreciate the one-touch control panel and the option to choose between single or double shots.

Users report long-term reliability, with some machines lasting over four years with proper maintenance. Regular cleaning and deliming are recommended for top performance. While there may be occasional issues, such as frother problems when making hot chocolate, these can often be resolved with simple adjustments.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Budget Espresso Machine

choosing a budget espresso machine

When we're searching for a budget espresso machine, there are several key factors we need to evaluate.

We'll examine aspects such as price range, brewing pressure, milk frothing capabilities, ease of use, and durability and reliability.

These elements will help us determine which machine offers the best value for our money while still meeting our espresso-making needs.

Price Range

In light of the diverse budget espresso machine market, we'll explore the typical price range of $100 to $500 and what you can expect within this spectrum.

At the lower end, you'll find basic models with limited features but capable of producing decent espresso. As you move up in price, you'll encounter machines with improved build quality and additional functionalities.

It's important to note that a higher price doesn't always guarantee better performance. We recommend researching and comparing options within your budget to find the best balance between affordability and quality features. Keep in mind that budget machines may lack some of the advanced capabilities found in high-end models.

When considering your purchase, factor in potential long-term costs such as maintenance and replacement parts. These expenses can impact the overall value of your investment. We suggest prioritizing machines that offer a good mix of essential features and durability within your price range.

Brewing Pressure

Beyond price considerations, brewing pressure stands out as a key factor in selecting a budget espresso machine that'll deliver satisfying results.

When evaluating brewing pressure, we need to keep in mind that the standard for best extraction is around 9 bars. This pressure range, typically between 8-10 bars, is critical for achieving a balanced and flavorful espresso shot.

We can't emphasize enough the importance of consistent brewing pressure in extracting the oils and flavors from coffee grounds effectively. It's a delicate balance, as high pressure can lead to over-extraction and a bitter taste, while low pressure might result in under-extraction and a weak flavor profile.

That's why it's vital to look for machines that can maintain the ideal pressure range.

When shopping for budget espresso machines, we should pay close attention to the brewing pressure specifications. While some lower-priced models may not reach the optimal 9 bars, finding one that comes close can greatly enhance your home espresso experience.

Milk Frothing Capabilities

For coffee lovers who enjoy milk-based drinks, a budget espresso machine's milk frothing capabilities can make or break the experience.

When selecting a machine, we need to take into account several factors to make sure we're getting the best value for our money.

First, we should examine the type of milk frother. Some budget machines come with manual steam wands, which offer more control but require practice. Others feature automatic frothing systems that are easier to use but may limit customization.

We'll also want to check for multiple frothing options, as some machines provide different settings for various drinks like cappuccinos or lattes.

The quality of the froth is vital. We're looking for machines that can produce creamy, velvety microfoam for latte art or rich froth for cappuccinos.

Frothing speed is another aspect to take into account, as some machines work quickly while others take longer to achieve the desired texture.

Lastly, we can't disregard the significance of easy cleaning. A frothing system that's simple to maintain will guarantee hygiene and consistent performance over time.

Ease of Use

User-friendliness is an important factor when selecting a budget espresso machine, as it can significantly impact your daily coffee routine. We recommend looking for machines with one-touch control panels, which provide hassle-free drink selections. These intuitive interfaces simplify the brewing process, enabling you to enjoy your favorite coffee drinks without any complex steps.

When considering ease of use, we suggest prioritizing models with clear instructions and user-friendly features. Machines that are easy to set up and operate can save you time and frustration, especially during hectic mornings. Additionally, opt for espresso machines with removable parts, as these are typically simpler to clean and maintain.

Customization is another aspect of user-friendliness that we value. Look for budget-friendly options that offer adjustable settings, enabling you to tailor your coffee drinks to your preferences. This feature guarantees that you can consistently create your ideal cup of espresso or cappuccino.

Durability and Reliability

When investing in a budget espresso machine, durability and reliability should be at the forefront of your decision-making process. We recommend considering the materials used in construction, such as stainless steel or high-quality plastics, as these can greatly impact the machine's longevity.

It's also wise to look for models that come with a solid warranty, which can provide peace of mind and protection against potential malfunctions.

We've found that user reviews can be incredibly helpful in gauging a machine's reliability over time. Pay attention to feedback from customers who've owned the machine for several months or even years.

Additionally, it's worth researching the brand's reputation for producing dependable espresso machines within your budget range.

Another factor we consider essential is the frequency of required maintenance tasks. Machines that need less regular cleaning or descaling can be more reliable in the long run.

Size and Design

Beyond reliability, we've found that size and design play a crucial role in choosing the right budget espresso machine for your home. When considering size, it's essential to assess the available countertop space in your kitchen. We recommend looking for compact and sleek designs that not only fit well in your kitchen but also complement its aesthetic.

The weight of the machine is another important factor, especially if you plan to move it frequently. Opt for a lighter model if portability is a priority. Additionally, we've noticed that machines with accessible parts are easier to maintain and clean, which can significantly extend the lifespan of your espresso maker.

A removable water reservoir is a feature we highly recommend for convenience. It allows for easy refilling and cleaning without having to move the entire machine.

When evaluating design, consider how well the machine fits your kitchen's style and how easy it's to keep clean.

In our experience, the best budget espresso machines strike a balance between functionality and design, offering a compact footprint without sacrificing performance. By carefully considering these factors, you can find an espresso machine that meets your needs and fits seamlessly into your kitchen.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Although often overlooked, cleaning and maintenance are critical factors when selecting a budget espresso machine. We can't stress enough how important regular upkeep is for maintaining your machine's longevity and peak performance. When choosing a budget-friendly option, we recommend considering models that are easy to clean and maintain.

Look for machines with removable parts like drip trays, portafilters, and steam wands that can be easily accessed and cleaned. It's also worth checking if the showerhead and group head are easily accessible for routine cleaning. We suggest opting for models with clear maintenance instructions and readily available cleaning supplies.

Don't forget to factor in the ongoing costs of maintenance, such as water filters that need replacing every 60 uses or two months. Consider machines with built-in reminders for filter changes or descaling to help you stay on top of maintenance tasks.

Additionally, if you plan to switch between different coffee beans frequently, choose a machine with a grinder that's easy to clean. This will help prevent flavor contamination and maintain consistent quality in your espresso.

Versatility of Drinks

While cost-effective, an espresso machine's capability to craft a variety of drinks can greatly enhance your home coffee experience. When selecting a machine, we should consider its flexibility in making different types of coffee beverages. Some budget models offer 3-in-1 functionality, allowing us to prepare espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes with a single device.

We need to look for machines that provide options for customizing our drinks. This might include the ability to select single or double shots of espresso or adjust the milk frothing process for different textures. High-pressure brewing systems are essential for extracting rich flavors from coffee grounds, so we should prioritize machines with this feature.

The range of drinks a budget espresso machine can make will significantly impact our overall satisfaction with the purchase. We should evaluate our coffee preferences and choose a machine that aligns with our desired drink options. By selecting a versatile machine, we can explore various coffee styles and potentially save money by avoiding trips to coffee shops.

Ultimately, the right budget espresso machine will offer a balance between affordability and the ability to create a diverse range of coffee drinks at home.


We've explored two budget-friendly espresso machines that can elevate your home coffee experience without draining your wallet. Like a skilled barista in your kitchen, these machines offer quality and convenience at an accessible price point.

When choosing your perfect match, consider factors such as ease of use, durability, and available features.

With these options, you're well-equipped to start your day with a delicious, cafe-quality espresso without the need for a hefty investment or extensive barista training.

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About the author

The more refined, sensible (and slight less hirsute) half of BushyBeard Coffee. Ben loves fine roasts, strong dark coffee and quiet time spent with a good book.

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